The term "man's best friend" when referring to dogs specifically needs to be slightly amended.
How about "man's best friend and motivator," and including in that pets of all shapes, sizes and classifications?
Dogs, cats, birds, fish or even the stray reptile serve as more than just companions, chums or cozy, couch counterparts (well, except for the fish, hopefully). Studies have shown that any and all types of pets actually help encourage everything from being more physically fit to aiding and encouraging and engaging the sick and elderly and instilling them with the will to get better or extract a sense of purpose from their psyche, knowing that you have to care for, feed and nurture these animals.
Often times, you'll hear stories of how a new, post surgery puppy infused the would be sick and recovering patient with additional willpower to want to get better faster. That sentiment could come in the form of longing to take long walks with your new dog or just helping cognitively with the recovery process, as far as having someone who won't leave your side and truly brings happiness, love and joy to a person who may be experiencing sadness as it relates to being ill.
Aside from the healing power of pets in general and dogs specifically, they're also a tremendous incentive to reinvigorate your exercise acumen and thus pull you from the depths of your couch and television and, to some degree, force you outside, into the sunlight and on to the walking trail.
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